A possible hate crime stained an otherwise calm weekend in Brooklyn Heights, as a swastika and other scrawl was discovered inside a Monroe Place church.
“Very inappropriate statements, and a swastika” were discovered painted inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church, between Pierrepont Street and Monroe, according to Captain Mark DiPaolo, the commanding officer of the 84th Precinct.
Some time between Sept. 13 and 14, a person entered the school portion of the church and also committed a burglary, snatching some cash andmusical equipment, DiPaolo said. Precinct cops responded to the scene on Monday, along with officers from the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
“We are actively looking at the incident,” DiPaolo said, adding that cops have recovered “good evidence” that could result in a swift arrest. He said he remains “hopeful and confident” that an arrest would be made.
DiPaolo told the 84th Precinct Community Council this week that his belief was that the incident was carried out by someone somehow affiliated with the church, rather than a random act of hate. He said there was no forced entry into the building. “The church itself was targeted,” he said, adding,“We believe the person involved may have a connection to the facility.”
A police source told this paper that the incident is not believed to be linked to a recent attempted burglary at a Remsen Street synagogue or to the swastika attacks that hit the neighborhood in 2007. The source said the scrawl in the church was not focused on any one religious group. “It was a combination of different things,” the person said.
Meanwhile, the commanding officer said he has dispatched additional cops to the neighborhood and ordered extra patrols.
©2009 Community News Group
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